As a Woke Synesthete I Don’t Hear Color

Synesthesia is a neurological phenomenon where wires get crossed in the brain mixing up the senses. For example, synesthetes might smell numbers or taste feelings. Some even hear colors. Some, but not me.

I come from a staunchly synesthetic family. My father is synesthetic, my mother is synesthetic, hell, even my older brother and baby sister are synesthetic. Growing up synesthesic was just a way of life for me and I didn’t know there was any other way. But ever since going off to college and connecting with so many different iTunes libraries in my dorm, I woke the fuck up. And, like I told my family at Thanksgiving, I don’t even hear color anymore.

Being colorblind is one thing, but being color deaf takes a whole nother level of tolerance.

Other synesthetes might try to marginalize Beyonce’s Lemonade by imposing a color like fuchsia onto it, but when I hear those bangers the only thing I’m trying to impose is my ass onto is the nearest dance floor so I can twerk it out. Music isn’t about color!

If I’m nodding to the new Kendrick, I’m not thinking about pink or aquamarine like my dad would expect me too. I’m not even thinking about what his songs are trying to say. All I’m thinking about is who’s within earshot because I like to sing along to every word, like EVERY word.

Related: Amazing: This Guy Gave up His White Privilege to Be a Cybergoth

And by the way, I have no problem calling out other people with synesthesia who are still listening with color prejudices. Just the other day someone said to me, “Did you know Bad Brains are black?” Fuck you, dude. Not to me they’re not.

Don’t get me wrong, my synesthesia hasn’t gone away completely. Some songs still give me trouble, like, “Blue Monday.” If only because Mondays are supposed to be orange. But if you’re one of those people who think, deep down, you can’t change, I’m here to say YAAAAS KWEEN you can.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go buy Solange tickets. Her set at Coachella was LIT AF FAM and it tasted like justice.

What color is your favorite song? Let us know in the comments below!

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Article by Tom Peters @tomprters 


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